7:45am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Kat Graham, 'Silicon Valley's' Josh Brener Among Voice Cast of New 'Ninja Turtles' Series
The Vampire Diaries' Kat Graham and Silicon Valley's Josh Brener have joined the voice cast of Nickelodeon's Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Graham is set to voice April O'Neil, a street-savvy New Yorker who is the Turtles' most trusted ally, while Brener will voice Donatello, an unflappable mechanical genius and tech wizard.
Also joining the cast are Omar Miller (Ballers) as Raphael, the oldest and physically biggest brother who is now the Turtles' leader; Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, the self-professed "coolest" brother; and Brandon Mychal Smith (You're the Worst) as Michelangelo, the youngest brother who is an artist and awesome skateboarder with a wild, colorful and imaginative personality.
In addition, Eric Bauza (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) has been cast as Splinter, who serves as a father figure and sensei to the Turtles.
The 26-episode series is described as a reimagining that follows the band of brothers as they encounter new allies and villains and discover a mystical world they never knew existed beneath the streets of New York City. The 2D-animated series is set to debut in 2018.
"This incredible roster of voice actors provides a fresh take on these globally recognized characters, and they are going to bring this version of the Turtles to life in a whole new way," said Chris Viscardi, senior vp production and development, animation, at Nickelodeon. "We have reimagined the series to be filled with humor, loads of action and a dynamic look, and it's packed with all-new heroes, villains and cityscapes for the Turtles to explore."
Added Miller: "I used to sing the TMNT theme song daily on the bus on my way to elementary school and Raphael was my favorite Turtle. To get to voice this fictional character who had such a giant positive impact on my childhood is an honor. And to boot, I'm being directed by the man who voiced Raphael in my childhood."
Veteran animation industry voice actor Rob Paulsen is directing the series. Paulsen is no stranger to the franchise, having most recently voiced Donatello in Nickelodeon's CG-animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He also voiced Raphael in the 1987 original series.
The series is co-executive produced by Andy Suriano (character designer, Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) at Nickelodeon in Burbank.